Weekend Wrap Up // No. 34

10.19.2014

Happy Sunday, ya'll! The weather is changing here in Florida which can only mean: ALLERGY SEASON. While I do welcome the amazing weather that comes with fall, I do detest the allergies that come along with it. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stay home all day to wallow in self-pity! Quite the opposite, actually- I made my way to Disney World to hit up the Food and Wine Festival to eat and drink myself to a better "me". So while I'm in a perennial state of sneezing and self-medicating, here's what you've missed on the blogosphere!

// The Latest on Brikasia //

// The List //

  • Did you miss out on ordering the LORAC Mega Pro Palette? Have no fear, enter this giveaway for a chance to win it! (Daydreaming Beauty)
  • Check out this gorgeous makeup look with Eugenia's must-have eyeshadow palette! (Geniabeme)
  • This DIY Pumpkin Face Mask for acne-prone skin looks AWESOME. (Slashed Beauty)
  • This is the perfect bridal makeup look! (The Beauty Milk)
  • This manicure is really giving me life right now. (Love, Varnish)
  • Oh, and here's another awesome manicure. I wish I was actually good at nails! (A Little Polish)

// Jamming Out //

This week's jam isn't new by any means, but it's new to my earholes and I've got this song on REPEAT. It's just so goooood. "Animal" by Miike Snow. Get on it!


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NovaWhite Teeth Whitening System Review

10.17.2014

novawhite go kits, novawhite teeth whitening review, best teeth whitening systems, how to whiten teeth at home
NovaWhite GO Kit
I've never quite felt the need to get my teeth whitened in my 22 years of existence because I've always had relatively white teeth. Once I entered college, I began drinking lots of coffees and teas, and more recently, lots of red wine. Basically anything that can stain your teeth found its way to my teeth. I had been wanting to get my teeth whitened professionally, until my dentist told me it was $500 to do it in-office. NO THANKS! Needless to say, I was thrilled when NovaWhite reached out to me to see if I wanted to try their teeth whitening system. Yes, please!
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NovaWhite SuperNova Kit
NovaWhite’s SuperNova and NovaWhite Go Kits come complete with all whitening necessities; generic or customized whitening trays, whitening gel solution, lip balm, breath spray, washcloth, and travel bag. Go Kits retail for $54.00 and SuperNova Kits retail for $180.00. All items are available for purchase at NovaWhite.com.

I received the NovaWhite GO Kit, which includes two boil-and-bite trays and three syringes of the whitening gel (seen in the header photo). The boil-and-bite trays are pretty cool, and perhaps I'm just easy to please, but I'm impressed that this technology (would this be considered technology? I don't know!) is easily accessible through NovaWhite. Basically, you boil a pot of water and dip the tray in for five seconds. When you take the tray out of the water, you insert it in your mouth and make an impression of your teeth (be sure to not burn yourself with boiling water!). It's really cool and makes the teeth whitening process a breeze. To actually whiten your teeth, you apply a small amount of the gel into the tray (here's how they show you do it) and insert the trays in your mouth for 1-3 hours. And that's it! It really is that simple.

I had a fairly good experience with the NovaWhite system, especially considering I had never done anything of the sort before. For about the first week, I did experience some sensitivity and didn't notice any improvement in the whiteness of my teeth. I left the trays in my mouth for an hour, so I decided to increase the amount of time the trays spent in my mouth. After leaving the trays in my mouth for two hours, I began noticing significant improvement in the whiteness of my teeth. The whitening gel has a slight minty taste to it, which was definitely pleasant. Oh, and pro tip: try not to sneeze with the trays in your mouth, because it kiiiinda becomes a mess. Trust me on that one.
Slight difference in whiteness, but definitely noticeable!
Even my mom has made remarks about how my smile is noticeably whiter. That's always a good sign! And she didn't even know I was trialing a teeth whitening system. Win! So overall, I am very pleased with NovaWhite and for the price of $54, you just can't beat it.

And because the people over at NovaWhite are so extremely awesome, you can try this system out for 15% off! Use code brikasia15 to receive 15% off your NovaWhite order! What have been your experiences with teeth whitening?

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Disclosure: The products featured in this post were sent by NovaWhite. However, all opinions are my own.

My Skincare Routine

10.15.2014

green beauty, green beauty skincare routine, may lindstrom the clean dirt, la bella figura bio active purifying mask, kypris clearing serum, kiehls creamy eye treatement, embryolisse lait creme concentre, indie lee squalane facial oil, sw basics of brooklyn cleanser
I don't remember who they were interviewing, but I remember reading an Into the Gloss interview with some famous person who was very adamant about not washing your face- just splash some water on your face and you're good, is what I recall them saying. Uh, homie no. I ~guess~ that works if you have naturally great skin, but if you have a smorgasbord of skin problems... Homie no. That being said, I don't think I've ever fully covered my full skincare routine on here, so I figured, why not? I'm always raving on like a lunatic about natural skincare, so why not get into specifics?
green beauty, green beauty skincare routine, may lindstrom the clean dirt, la bella figura bio active purifying mask, kypris clearing serum, kiehls creamy eye treatement, embryolisse lait creme concentre, indie lee squalane facial oil, sw basics of brooklyn cleanser
So, I guess I do agree ~to a certain extent~ with random famous person from ITG in the opening paragraph. I definitely don't think a person should overcleanse their face by washing it strenuously twice a day, which is why I keep my morning skincare routine fairly simple. I start off with the SW Basics of Brooklyn Cleanser, and apply it with a cotton round over my face. Then I splash my face with water (just like the skincare commercials on TV!), dry my face, and then apply the Kypris Clearing Serum over any problem areas. After that soaks in, I use my ol' faithful Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre and then I'm ready to do my makeup! Super simple and super quick to do, which is great when I wake up late and am rushing out the door.
green beauty, green beauty skincare routine, may lindstrom the clean dirt, la bella figura bio active purifying mask, kypris clearing serum, kiehls creamy eye treatement, embryolisse lait creme concentre, indie lee squalane facial oil, sw basics of brooklyn cleanser
My evening skincare routine is a wee bit more involved and time-consuming, which is totes okay by me since this is how I unwind. I start off with applying the May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt to my face, and I let it sit on my face for a few minutes. I then wash it off, and apply the Kypris Clearing Serum over any problem area. Then I apply the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre all over my face, and then add the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment underneath my eyes. To finish everything off, I pat some Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil over my face to sort of "seal in" the products beforehand. It's a weird method, I know, but I'm convinced it works.

Also, once a week in lieu of applying The Clean Dirt to my face, I'll use the La Bella Figura Bio Active Purifying Mask and let it sit on my face as I watch Netflix for about 45 minutes or so. I also sometimes use this in the mornings as a spot treatment. It's pretty much magical. In fact, as I sit here typing this, I have it on my chin. It looks like I have a weird beard, but whatever it takes to get to clear skin!

And that's it! Pretty simple stuff, and I rarely change my routine because I don't like making it a habit to piss my skin off, ya know? So now that I've shared my skincare routine, what's yours?


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

How To Shop on Instagram

10.13.2014

how to shop on instagram, instagram boutique, best instagram shops, instashop, shop my closet, instaboutique, tips for buying clothes on instagram
If you're as Instagram-addicted as I am, then you've probably noticed the surging popularity of Instagram boutiques. If you're not familiar, you are certainly not along! Because Instagram is such a visual medium of social media, a lot of people are turning to Instagram to sell old clothes and vintage finds and utilizing popular hashtags, such as #instaboutique and #shopmycloset. While you can't purchase items directly off of Instagram like you would on a traditional e-commerce site, typically vendors have you leave your e-mail on the photo of the item you want so they can send you a secure PayPal invoice.

So while that seems pretty straightforward, some people are still hesitant to buy things via Instagram. And I don't blame you! There are a lot of sketchballs on Instagram (I'm looking at you, follow for a follow accounts). And since launching my own Instagram shop with my friend Lauren, I figured I would write a lil' somethin' somethin' to give you the 4-1-1 on shopping on Instagram. And I'm even including some of my favorite Instagram shops! Now get your fingertips and smart phones ready... It's time to shop.

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  • Here is a great tip from Lauren: "Don't be afraid to ask for try-on photos or details about an item's condition, life it comes from a non-smoking home or not." Nothing like buying an item in mint condition, but having it reek of cigarette smoke. No thanks!
  • I've found that most Instashops are pretty trustworthy, but it is still important to be cautious. Read through the shop's policies and check out the quality of photos. Check out the people who comment on a shop's pictures. For me, it's important for a shop to have good quality photos. I don't want to see clothes in yellow lighting from the basement!
  • Don't be afraid of leaving your e-mail for a PayPal invoice. You don't need Paypal for a PayPal invoice, either. PayPal is truly the safest way to purchase an item from somewhere without giving them your credit card info. 
  • Once you have a list of a trusted shops, browse through the shops they're following to find more trustworthy shops. Instagram has a great online boutique community, and everyone is very supportive of each other. This is a great way to find new boutiques.
  • You can also search through popular hashtags, such as #instashop, #instaboutique, #instacloset, and #shopmycloset to find new items for purchase. 
  • Your gut feeling is typically always correct. If you're getting weird vibes from a boutique, DON'T DO IT. It's not worth it.
And, as promised, here are some of me & Lauren's favorite Instagram shops!
So now I gotta ask... would you buy something from Instagram? If you have, what have your experiences been like? Any Instagram boutiques you love? Do share in the comments!





Weekend Wrap Up // No. 33

10.12.2014

Happy Sunday! I hope you've all had a great week and an even better weekend. Last Sunday I worked on an amazing photo shoot of a husband + wife, and was the wife not a stunning model?! Homegirl BROUGHT IT. She had the greatest cheekbones ever. For all of you with amazing bone structure and cheekbones: I am forever envious of you. This round face o'mine WISHES it looked naturally sculpted! Oh well. We always want what we don't have, amiright? Alas, here's what you've missed this week!

// The Latest on Brikasia //

// The List //

  • Okay, this is totally unrelated to beauty but this is SO fascinating. Here's what it's like to fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class. (Medium.com)
  • Here are some great natural & nontoxic makeup tips for glowing skin. (Beauty by Britanie)
  • Here's a foolproof guide to decoding beauty ingredient labels. (Byrdie)
  • This manicure is making me crave summer again! (Let Them Have Polish!)

// Jamming Out //

This weekend I've been incredibly productive (which is SO rare for me nowadays), and the only thing I've been playing to keep me in the groove is the xx. Here's one of my favorites from their first album, Islands.

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New Guest Post on BeauTeaBar

10.10.2014

Happy Friday everyone! It's a gorgeous day out today in sunny Florida, so before you get to your day, why don't you head over to BeauTeaBar's blog for a super special makeup tutorial I did on Marissa for her rehearsal dinner? I'm using La Bella Figura's newest makeup line, and as you can see, these products are incredibly versatile. So instead of me rambling on and on about how gorgeous Marissa is and how great the La Bella Figura products are, just head over to BTB's blog for the full tutorial!


Things That Have Inspired Me Lately // Vol. 001

10.08.2014

moroccan tiles, fall colors, navy blue tile, fall flowers, karlie kloss vogue
image source (top left, clockwise): 1, 2, 3, 4

As you could probably tell by previous posts, I've been feeling less than inspired lately, and let's be real- that is a TERRIBLE feeling, especially when your job is to be as creative as possible. When I asked for suggestions as to what to do when I'm feeling uninspired, a lot of you said to turn to Pinterest. The problem for me was that I was following way too many people on Pinterest who pinned content that, quite frankly, did not inspire me. So with a glass of Pinot Grigio in hand, I spent several hours over the weekend cleaning out my Pinterest and trying my hardest to feel inspired.

And you know what? It totally worked. Now when I peruse through Pinterest, I feel inspired and creative again. Is this how Beyonce feels on a regular basis? Does Beyonce use Pinterest? These are the questions running through my head right now. Forgive me, it's been so long since I've dropped a Bey reference in my blog! Alas, I'm kind of going crazy over on Pinterest, and have really been inspired by these darker and more moody color palettes (like these gorgeous deep navys, forest greens, cranberry reds, mustard yellows), probably because of the season we're in. It's also been super overcast in Florida lately, so besides the fact that I'm probably depressed because of the lack of Vitamin D, I've also been super into darker colors. And also, TILE. I'm so into the tile work in Morocco and parts of Spain. So intricate and SO pretty.

What's been inspiring you lately?

Weekend Wrap Up // No. 32

10.05.2014

Happy Sunday! Today we are fiiiinally getting our first cold front of the season, which means 78 degree weather for us! It'll be a refreshing break from the humid 90 degree weather we've been dealing with in Florida for what seems like an eternity. So now that it's 78 degrees out, that totally means I can bust out my favorite boots, right? I'll look for any excuse to wear long pants and boots! Anyway, this weekend I've been working my little booty off, doing bridal trials and photo shoots. Exhausting but totally rewarding! I also got my hands on an AMAZING new lipstick (seen above). I have the link for you down below on "The List"! Speaking of, let's get straight to it! Here's what you've missed...

// The Latest on Brikasia //

// The List //

  • The lipstick I'm wearing in the header photo is called "Survivor" by Nudus Australia. Amaaaazing lipstick with crazy pigmentation and best of all? No toxic ingredients. Win! (BeauTeaBar)
  • I really, really, really want to make these bracelets. Time to head to the craft store! (A Beautiful Mess)
  • I really want to buy these face charts. It looks like so much fun to work on! (Phyrra)
  • Two of my favorite things in one video: Man Repeller's Leandra Medine interviewing my girl crushes, Haim. (Man Repeller)
  • Such a gorgeous everyday look! Loving that cream blush. (The Beauty Milk)

// Jamming Out //

I've been on an Alt-J kick lately, which couldn't be more perfect since they've recently dropped their sophomore album. Here's my favorite from the album: Hunger of the Pine.
 
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Kypris Beauty Clearing Serum Review

10.03.2014

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As you all have probably figured out by now, I am very particular with what I put on my skin. My skin is super sensitive and breaks out frequently, so I rarely tweak my skincare routine in fear of irritating my skin further. Ever since I've switched to an all-natural skincare regime, my skin has become a lot more balanced but is still prone to breakout when it meets a product that it just doesn't like. I had been wanting to add a serum (or anything, really) that would focus on blemishes, and that's when Marissa from BeauTeaBar added the Kypris Beauty range to her site. I got my hands on a sample of the Clearing Serum and it was a match made in heaven!

This stuff is like magic. If I have a blemish, I apply some of this serum on it and while it doesn't disappear, it shrinks substantially. The packaging itself says that this is "made to balance and to heal fussy, oily, or blemished skin and to treat shaved, threaded, or waxed areas." So basically it's everything a girl could possibly need in one magic potion! And speaking of packaging... This packaging is absolutely gorgeous. It's just so pretty! I love displaying this on my countertop.

While the price is steep at $55 for 1.69 oz of product, I do believe it is worth it, especially if you have blemished skin like me. I've been applying this to my bacne (ed. note: grossssss, I know) and my skin is dramatically clearer. Insane! This serum proves that you don't need all those icky chemicals (I'm looking at you, benzoyl peroxide) to achieve clear skin. With 25 active natural ingredients, this does the job quite well. I am incredibly impressed with this product, and am wondering how I've lasted so long without it.

Have you tried anything from Kypris? What serums do you have in your skincare lineup?

September 2014 Favorites

9.30.2014

mac soar lip liner, it cosmetics no tug waterproof gel eyeliner, anastasia beverly hills brow wiz, la bella figura just jenna radiant creme blush review, rare elements pure shampoo, rare el'ements essential conditioner, september 2014 beauty favorites
Well, it's that time of the month again (and no, I'm not talking about my ~lady~ time)! Another month has come to its end, and I've teamed up with my main boo's from the Beauty Bloggers of Central Florida to show you all the products that I am loving from this past month. So let's waste no more time in getting into my favorite products!
  1. MAC Soar Lip Liner- I've basically rediscovered this old favorite of mine lately. Perfect for the Kylie Jenner look.
  2. It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner- This was on sale at Ulta for $10 the other day, and after reading so many glowing reviews of this eyeliner from other bloggers, I just went for it. Well, I totally wish I bought more of this stuff because it is AMAZING. I rarely put eyeliner on my waterline anymore because it just gets everywhere but this stuff? Doesn't budge and is intensely pigmented. I'm basically in love.
  3. Anastasia Brow Wiz- This pencil is amazing for a natural looking brow, or even a more filled-in brow. There spoolie on the other end of pencil is also great for brushing product through the eyebrow hairs. Basically, it's my holy grail brow product at the moment.
  4. La Bella Figura Just Jenna Radiant Creme Blush- In last month's favorites post, I raved about the lip color I purchased from LBF and how I couldn't wait to try the rest of the line. Well, I finally have the whole makeup line (courtesy of Marissa from BeauTeaBar) and you guys. This cream blush is off. the. chain. So pigmented and so moisturizing on the skin. It also works great for a lip color!
  5. Rare El'ements Pure Shampoo- I started using an Aussie shampoo and conditioner because I didn't think I needed to spend money on expensive shampoos, but you guys: that Aussie shampoo and conditioner dried my hair out terribly! So I caved and got into this shampoo, and it is nothing short of amazing. It really cleans my hair and gets rid of the inevitable product buildup, and best of all? It's a natural and "green" product. No chemicals here!
  6. Rare El'ements Essential Conditioner- For all of you with super dry hair, this is the conditioner you need. You only need the smallest amount for your hair, because this stuff is potent. Super moisturizing and super conditioning, this, paired with the shampoo, has breathed new life into my hair.
Now check out what my BBCFL girls have been loving this past month!


What have you been loving this past month?


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
 

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